March 30, 2009

Sorry, Bay Area

This morning, I was thinking about what to shoot for today’s 7 Days shot. I came up with bupkiss (or is it bubkiss?). Making or eating my breakfast? Been there, done that. Drying my hair? That’s so 2007. Nothing exciting is happening today. It’s Monday for Pete’s sake.

But then. Around 10:40 this morning. An earthquake hit. It was small, just 4.4 or so, but felt big. Because really, when you’re not accustomed to the earth moving under your feet (or chair in my case) any jolt feels big. No one was hurt; nothing was damaged. But my heart raced for about 30 minutes afterward.

The best part was that I finally had an idea for today’s photo. Duck and cover!
7 Days: 3 - EARTHQUAKE!!

Sorry about that tremor this morning, my fellow Bay Area peeps. But I really needed an idea for my photo, so Mother Nature helped me out. Plus, after the gorgeous weekend we had, it was payback. Like rent. Or an earthquake tax. “You want sunny, warm days? Sure. But I’m gonna shake things up a bit to make you appreciate this weather.”

We do appreciate it, Mom! We do!

March 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things Part 48 of 365

  1. I will have a loss tomorrow on the scale. I will. (But if I don’t, I might not tell you.)
  2. I got an A on my Photoshop portfolio, as it “demonstrates skill level beyond the level for this course,” according to my instructor
  3. Watching how excited Desmond gets when the Wii comes on the TV screen.
  4. Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Dressing
  5. Fridays

March 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things Part 47 of 365

  1. 9-year old Oskar Schell, the narrator of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I’m listening to the audio version of this extremely good and incredibly awesome book and I want Oskar to ride with me to and from work so he can talk to me and also so I can ride in the carpool lane. I adore this kid. If you’ve read the book, please don’t post any spoilers. I’m not too far into it!
  2. making a faux 50/50 bar with a scoop each of light slow-churned vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry sorbet. YUM.
  3. Things are moving along on my work weight-loss challenge. I got the OK from HR to post fliers to promote it, and IT gave my co-worker and me a page on our intranet where we can post tips, recipes, photos, whatever!
  4. I laughed harder today at work than I ever have (at work). The president of the segment I work for asked me to recommend a site where he could send a raunchy birthday e-card to a friend. I showed him my favorite site for cards, and asked if he liked this one. I have never seen him (or many other people) laugh as hard as he did. He immediately backed away from the desk, laughing so hard he had to bend over. Bent in half, he walked around his desk to the table, wheezing that silent laugh. I was cracking up to the point of crying, more at his reaction than the card since I’d seen it before. After we addressed it and hit send, I left his office, while he was still laughing. I could hear him all the way from my desk on the other side of the office. It was…legendary.
  5. the fact that I just cannot seem to get enough of Barney Stinson

March 25, 2009

Channeling a character from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society*

A letter to AllanThinks and AliThinks, 25th of March, 2009

OK. You guys were at Al’s tonight, right? For a Twitter meetup?


I had this co-worker (I will call her S) when I worked at the University of Kentucky Department of Surgery Publications Office. I always felt that she was too smart for me although we got along very well. She was very “bookish” like I was, but in a more highfalutin’ way. She once recommended I read some Flannery O’Connor and I tried, but UGH. Way over my 24-year old head. S and I both loved cats and French, and Berea crafts, and Birkenstocks, and other similar things, so we became friends. Our other coworker, C was also into cats and things so the three of us were work buddies.

We sat in one large room with our boss. Let’s call her W. In our drab room of an office, each of us sat in our own corner, with our back to the center of the room, and partitions beside or behind us to simulate privacy. So friendly! Because W demanded Total Silence so she could focus on such things as plasminogen activators, thrombocytopenia, or documenting sex change operations, the three of us with poorer work ethics began conversing via email. Considering that the office was about 20 feet wide by 25 feet long, this was not the quickest form of communication because it took so long to send our thoughts through the tubes all the way around the world or where ever they went before landing at our desks. But we were to remain mute unless a surgeon walked in needing our editing or desktop publishing expertise, so email was the only way for us to talk.

I think it was Tuesdays that were Street French days. Each week, one of us was in charge of teaching the other two a new word or phrase. Sometimes it was so hard not to snicker at what would appear in my inbox. But if I let out a giggle (or a fart, for that matter), I was afraid I’d be knocked upside the head. (I regret not backing up those emails on a floppy disk so today I could sit there and look at that floppy, thinking, “I sure wish I could see what I saved on there, but this Mac doesn’t have a floppy drive!”)

Anyway, I digress. Or did you not notice?

For some reason, just yesterday I decided to look for S on teh internets. Lo and behold, there she was! She has a web site and she is still like totally ohmigod smart and stuff too. She’s also on Twitter, but I didn’t click the Follow button for fear that she’d find my own Twitter page. I mean, it would be like Chrissie Snow requesting to follow Stephen Hawking. S does tweet some lovely poetry though. I sort of want to stalk her for that. She even has a couple of poetry books published. I have one that she sent me years ago.

Just in case I am painting a not-so-nice picture of S, you should also know that she is also a very nice, caring person with a dry wit. But, remember on How I Met Your Mother when Ted’s college girlfriend came back and they hooked up? And how Ted’s friends felt like everything and everyone seemed beneath her? That’s how I feel around S. Unlike the Heir to the Massengil Fortune on HIMYM, it’s not on purpose, and it’s not her fault. I know that I am intimated by her intelligence, and it’s like, totally me and not her, but still.

(It’s taking me a long time to get to the point, isn’t it? This is how I talk in real life, by the way. I include several unrelated details you probably don’t care about, but they pop into my head so I must include them, however haphazard they are.)

OK. So. I went through the posts on S’s blog, and one of them from earlier this week promoted a poetry event she would be attending on Wednesday (tonight). At…

wait for it…

Al’s in Lexington.

So when I saw Allan’s tweets about you guys being at a Twitter meetup at Al’s and the bar being taken over by the poetry people…


(S would never say dude, even for dramatic effect, by the way.)

My two universes collided in Kentucky tonight. Did the walls shake or anything?

I felt a rumble under my feet all the way over here.

*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an epistolary novel. It’s a really cute story, sometimes sad, but a really fun read listen. I checked out the audio book from the library.

March 24, 2009

Grace in Small Things Part 46 of 365

  1. Marc Johns will soon have a book.
  2. Last night I typed the first words of a book I hope to publish one day
  3. I’ve decided to start a weight loss challenge at work. If anyone has suggestions on getting people to join me, please let me know!
  4. Thinking we were expecting thunderstorms all day and realizing that I was looking at the forecast for Brookfield, Wisconsin and not San Jose, California. Sunny and 68 was more like it!
  5. I’m getting a mammogram tomorrow. That may not seem like a bit of grace, but it refers to two small things, so there you go.

March 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things Part 45 of 365

Sorry for the hiatus. When you’re pounding the keyboard 10 hours a day, the last thing you want to do is play on the computer when you get home. But I’m back now. I’m sure you’ve been crying and moping around during my absence too, so I’ll throw some photos your way this time.

  1. Saturdays
  2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I read it in one sitting today (not hard to do). Reading great works like that inspires me to write that book that’s hiding somewhere in my memory. After finishing Shadow of the Wind last night, I’m ready for something upbeat like some Jane Austen or Anne of Green Gables, I think.
  3. Finally finishing Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (audio book). I chose it for the Spring Challenge, and was it ever long. Like 19 hours long. I learned some things about Ms. Picoult’s writing from hearing someone else read it aloud. 1) she used the word “muttered” a lot in this book; 2) there were waaaaay too many metaphors that appeared in chunks of the book; and 3) she’s quite verbose, that Jodi, what with all the characters and sad lives and all.
  4. The Milpitas Library. Holycrap. See ya, tiny little branch of the San Jose library by my house!
  5. I have completed my portfolio for my Photoshop class. It’s due on Tuesday. That’s right. I’m done a whole three days early. You can take a peek at what I did. Heh. Here’s a taste:

Land of the Lost

March 15, 2009

Grace in Small Things Part 44 of 365

  1. the phrase heir to the Massengil fortune to describe a douchebag (courtesy of How I Met Your Mother)
  2. leftover flank steak stir-fried with brown rice and green beans
  3. having a productive Sunday morning that included two loads of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and completing 3 quizzes for my Photoshop class
  4. finding a partially-used Visa gift card with $5 left on it
  5. bargain books on Amazon for $4
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